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tented himself with proclaiming his victory at the door, and returning, finished his bone-planting at his leisure; the enemy, who had scuttled behind the glassdoor, glaring at him.
From this moment Toby was an altered dog. Pluck at first sight was lord of all; from that time dated his first tremendous deliverance of tail against the door which we called “come listen to
tail.” That very evening he paid a visit to Leo, next door's dog, a big, tyrannical bully and coward, which its master thought a Newfoundland, but whose pedigree we knew better; this brute continued the same system of chronic extermination which was interrupted at Lochend, having Toby down among his feet, and threatening him with instant death two or three times a day. To him Toby paid a visit that very evening, down into his den, and walked about, as much as to say, “ Come on, Macduff !” but Macduff did not come on, and henceforward there was an armed neutrality, and they merely stiffened up and made their backs rigid, pretended each not to see the other, walking solemnly round, as is the manner of dogs. Toby worked his new-found faculty thoroughly, but with discretion. He killed cats, astonished beggars, kept his own in his own garden against all comers, and came off victorious in several well-fought battles; but he was not quarrelsome or foolhardy. It was very odd how his carriage changed, holding his head up, and how much pleasanter he was at home. To my father, next to William, who was his Humane Society man, he remained stanch. And what of his end ? for the misery of dogs is that they die so soon, or as Sir Walter says, it is well they do; for, if they lived as long as a Christian, and we liked them in proportion,
and they then died, he said that was a thing he could not stand.
His exit was miserable, and had a strange poetic or tragic relation to his entrance. My father was out of town; I was away in England. Whether it was that the absence of my father had relaxed his power of moral restraint, or whether through neglect of the servant he had been desperately hungry, or most likely both being true, Toby was discovered with the remains of a cold leg of mutton, on which he had made an ample meal;1 this he was in vain endeavoring to plant as of old, in the hope of its remaining undiscovered till to-morrow's hunger returned, the whole shank bone sticking up unmistakably. This was seen by our excellent and Rhadamanthine grandmother, who pronounced sentence on the instant; and next day, as William was leaving for the High School, did he in the sour morning, through an easterly haur, behold him " whom he saved from drowning,” and whom, with better results than in the case of Launce and Crab,2 he had taught, as if one should say, “ Thus would I teach a dog,” dangling by his own chain from his own lamp-post, one of his hind feet just touching the pavement, and his body preternaturally elongated.
William found him dead and warm, and, falling in with the milk-boy at the head of the street, questioned him, and discovered that he was the executioner, and
1 Toby was in the state of the shepherd boy whoin George Webster met in Glenshee, and asked, “ My man, were you ever fou'?” “Ay, aince," speaking slowly, as if remembering, Ay, aince.” " What on?” “ Cauld mutton!” – J. B.
2 Launce is a character in one of Shakespeare's comedies, and Crab is his dog.
had got twopence: he — Toby's every morning crony, who met him and accompanied him up the street and licked the outside of his can had, with an eye to speed and convenience, and a want of taste, not to say principle and affection, horrible still to think of, suspended Toby's animation beyond all hope. William instantly fell upon him, upsetting his milk and cream, and gave him a thorough licking, to his own intense relief; and, being late, he got from Pyper, who was a martinet, the customary palmies, which he bore with something approaching to pleasure. So died Toby: my father said little, but he missed and mourned his friend.
There is reason to believe that, by one of those curious intertwistings of existence, the milk-boy was that one of the drowning party who got the penny
of the twopence.
Our next friend was an exquisite shepherd dog ; fleet, thin-flanked, dainty, and handsome as a small greyhound, with all the grace of silky, waving blackand-tan hair. We got him thus. Being then young and keen botanists, and full of the knowledge and love of Tweedside, having been on every hill-top from Muckle Mendic to Hundleshope and the Lee Pen, and having fished every water from Tarth to the Leithen, we discovered early in spring that young Stewart, author of an excellent book on natural history, a young man of great promise and early death, had found the Buxbaumia aphylla, a beautiful and odd-looking moss, west of Newbie heights, in the very month we were that moment in. We resolved to start next day. We walked to Peebles, and then
* gaun to
up Haystoun Glen to the cottage of Adam Cairns, the aged shepherd of the Newbie hirsel, of whom we knew, and who knew of us from his daughter, Nancy Cairns, a servant with Uncle Aitken of Callands. We found our way up the burn with difficulty, as the evening was getting dark; and on getting near the cottage heard them at worship. We got in, and made ourselves known, and got a famous tea, and such cream and oat cake! - old Adam looking on us « clean dementit to come out for 66
a bit moss," which, however, he knew, and with some pride said he would take us in the morning to the place. As we were going into a box bed for the night, two young men
came in, and said they were burn the water." Off we set. It was a clear, dark, starlight, frosty night. They had their leisters and tar torches, and it was something worth seeing, -- the wild flame, the young fellows striking the fish coming to the light, - how splendid they looked with the light on their scales, coming out of the darkness, the stumblings and quenchings suddenly of the lights as the torch-bearer fell into a deep pool. We got home past midnight, and slept as we seldom sleep
In the morning Adam, who had been long up, and had been up the “ Hope" with his dog, when he saw we had wakened, told us there was four inches of snow, and we soon saw it was too true. So we had to go home without our cryptogamic prize.
It turned out that Adam, who was an old man and frail, and had made some money, was going at Whitsunday to leave, and live with his son in Glasgow. We had been admiring the beauty and gentleness and perfect shape of Wylie, the finest colley I ever saw, and said, “What are you going to do with
Wylie ?" “ 'Deed,” says he, “I hardly ken. I can na think o' sellin' her, though she's worth four pound, and she ʼll no like the toun.” I said, “ Would you let me have her ?” and Adam, looking at her fondly, — she came up instantly to him and made of him, — said, " Ay, I wull, if ye 'll
Ay, I wull, if ye 'll be gude to her;' and it was settled that when Adam left for Glasgow, she should be sent into Albany Street by the carrier.
She came, and was at once taken to all our hearts, even grandmother liked her; and though she was often pensive, as if thinking of her master and her work on the hills, she made herself at home, and behaved in all respects like a lady. When out with me, if she saw sheep in the streets or road, she got quite excited, and helped the work, and was curiously useful, the being so making her wonderfully happy. And so her little life went on, never doing wrong, always blithe and kind and beautiful. But some months after she came, there was a mystery about her: every Tuesday evening she disappeared; we tried to watch her, but in vain, she was always off by nine P. M., and was away all night, coming back next day wearied and all over mud, as if she had travelled far. She slept all next day. This went on for some months, and we could make nothing of it. Poor dear creature, she looked at us wistfully when she came in, as if she would have told us if she could, and was especially fond, though tired. Well, one da I was wal
ng across the Grassmarket, with Wylie at my heels, when two shepherd started, and, looking at her, one said, “That's her; that's the wonderfu' wee bitch that naebody kens.' I asked him what he meant, and he told me that for months past she had made her appearance by the first